Irene Makarin Interview

Two photos: a slide of a ruined, small, white building and a photo of a shoreline with blue-green mountains, blue sky, and a sparkling ocean.
A view of the Biorka shoreline and the weathered ruins of the small church in Biorka.


As part of the "Beginning of Memory Project," Ray Hudson conducted interviews with Unangax̂/Aleuts who were forced to evacuate from their homes during World War II. Many of the evacuees from the Aleutians faced years away from their childhood homes, sometimes in deplorable camps. Many communities - the "Lost Villages" - were never resettled.

Irene Makarin was born in Unalaska in 1930 and raised in Biorka. Her mother died around 1932 and Irene was adopted by Andrew and Ester (Eustina) Makarin, leaders in the Biorka community. She lived in Biorka until evacuated at the start of WWII. Following the war she married William (Coco) Yatchmenoff from Chernofski. Irene was part of the resettlement of Biorka after the war.

Download a full transcript of Irene's interview.
Black and white photo of two couples, the men with their arms around the women.
Andrew and Ester Makarin (left) and his brother Elia Makarin and his wife Agrafina (right). Andrew and Ester were the adoptive parents of Irene Makarin.

NPS/ Ray Hudson

Aleutian Islands World War II National Historic Area

Last updated: October 26, 2021